1. Are You Afraid to Squat?

    I am often told, “Squatting hurts my knees” and yet, we can’t avoid this fundamental human movement. Think of how many times you do these movements during the day.

    • squatGet up from a chair, couch or the potty
    • Pick something up off the ground
    • Get out of a car
    • Get out of bed

    Being able to do this motion is quite important for quality of life and independence as you age. This is why I regularly have my clients practice squatting. When done repeatedly, it’s a great strengthening exercise that uses the larger muscles in the legs.

    Aging client is practicing squatting facing the wall. Sometimes I put a chair behind the person if they feel that they might go backwards. This awkward way to squat REALLY takes care of the knees and teaches the person to push their rear end back keeping the knees in proper alignment over their toes.

    Listed below are a few other common mistakes people make when squatting:

    Common Squatting Mistakes Explained

    Bringing Knees Together
    Knees should line up between the hip and foot when viewed from the front. As you start moving upward, try not to let your knees come together

    Favoring One Leg
    Try not to shift your weight when you are squatting. You should feel like you have equal pressure on both feet and feel the muscles of both legs doing an equal amount of work.

    Many of you have had an injury or surgery on a hip, knee, or ankle. While the bad leg was healing, you shifted more of the workload onto the good leg. Unfortunately, this pattern became so engrained that you continue to squat this way even after your injured leg has healed.

    If you continue to do this, you’re always going to have one leg that’s weaker.

    Looking at the Floor
    I tell my clients, “You are going to GO the direction you are looking!”

    When getting out of a chair, pick a spot out in front of you that is about four or five feet high and fix your eyes on it as you get up. Looking forward in this manner will ensure that your head is up and your body goes the direction you intended.

    Feet Too Close Together
    Wider legs are more stable. Get your feet at least ten inches apart before you try to stand up. This is a simple fix and will result in much greater stability.

    Plopping Down
    When you are squatting for exercise, remember that you are strengthening your muscles both on the way up as you move against gravity, and on the way down, as you try to control your descent. Gravity wants to pull you down into that chair and make you PLOP.

    Other Tips
    You may already be too weak in the legs to do the squat correctly from a chair. You can still improve your leg strength over time. Try the squat from your bed; it may be higher than most chairs.

    Action Plan
    To strengthen your legs using the squat, you can do 1 or 2 sets of 8-15 squats 2 or 3 times per week. Become aware of your squat form every time you get up from that chair!

    Yours in Health and Fitness,

    Lisa Wright – ISSA Fitness Professional
    Your Personal Best Training Studio
    Owner/Director of Operations


    PS For more info visit this link http://www.seniorexercisesonline.com/how-to-squat.html

  2. The Inchworm!

    Ever wonder where we get some of our exercises?  The inchworm is an imitation of an actual worm moving up and down from point A to point B on a flat surface.  This exercise is great because it involves your full body and requires no gym equipment.  It’s good for your arms, core, chest, back and even adds some flexibility for your legs.

    INCHWORMHere are the 5 easy steps to perform the inchworm:

    • First align yourself with your feet hip with apart and palms by your side.
    • Hinge forward at the waist and put your palms on the ground close to your toes while keeping your legs as straight as possible. You can bend your knees if you have to.
    • Slowly start to walk your hands forward until all of your weight is on your hands and toes. At this point, you should be in a pushup position and your hands should be right under your shoulders with your body in a straight line.
    • Hold this position for a few seconds, then start to walk your hands back towards your toes slowly.
    • Once you have reached a point where you feel you can’t walk your hands any closer, then stand back up. You have now completed one full inchworm!

    Focus on keeping your core in tight and not round your back or rotate your core.  Instead, bend at the knees to relieve some of that pressure.  Remember that this exercise is not a race and technique is key in performing this exercise successfully.

  3. Lose that Bloat!

    **Ongoing Event**

    lose bloatKids are back in school and summer vacations are over. It’s probably time to get back into a routine.

    I need my “normal” routine back and I’m so fired-up.

    – How about you?
    – Do you need to get back into your routine?
    – Do you need a little jumpstart to get your health & fitness program resurrected again?
    – Do you need a bit of a change-up from your existing program because you feel stale, bored, or lethargic?

    If so, NOW is the time!!!

    Starting October 2nd, I am offering 8 weeks of tools and ideas to help you “FALL” into Fitness. It’s 8 weeks of intelligent exercise programming designed to help you get back into your routine.

    Program includes:

    • Over 60% OFF up to 16 (small group) SEMI training sessions (40 minutes of strength & 20 minutes of cardio per session) T/Th 5:30 pm in October / November.
    • 30 Day Cardio Plan
    • Optional:
    • Motivational emails from our awesome Fitness Professionals and yours truly!

    Valued at $720.00

    The price is only $299.00 for the entire 8 week program.

    It is hands-down the best program for the price we’ve offered all year long. I only have 8 spots available so please call the studio 361-857-5087 or my personal cell phone 361-549-4604 this week to reserve your spot.

    Yours in Health and Fitness,
    Lisa Wright


    We always appreciate your referral. Whether you choose to attempt our 8 week program with a new friend or you just refer a new friend who signs up for this whole program, we will gift you a FREE 60-minute therapeutic massage from my favorite standout therapist. Heck, that’s another 10% OFF the value of the entire cost of the 8 week program. I appreciate your kind words to your neighbors, friends, and co-workers and always appreciate your referrals to YPB.

  4. Healthy Blackberry Smoothie

    Did you know? One cup of kale contains 9% of your daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K? A great way to add this nutritional powerhouse into your daily routine is to toss it in a smoothie. Try this tasty blackberry green smoothie after your next workout. blackberry smoothie

    • 3/4 cup almond milk, mootopia milk or 1 scoop protein powder with water
    • 1 cup kale
    • 1 banana
    • 1/2 cup blackberries
    • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple

    Blend all ingredients until smooth. More about the smoothie here: http://bit.ly/1ANJCE8

  5. Suspension Training for Active Seniors

    It’s said that “65 is the new 45” and the older population has never been more motivated to stay active and healthy than right now. We use TRX® Suspension Trainers™ to improve function and keep seniors pursuing the activities they love long into their golden years.

    Check out our Clients in Motion:

    Joint Mobility          Strength and Stability          balance and gait

    Falling Statistics:

    My mom took a fall recently, ended up in the ER, a week stay in the hospital and almost 3 weeks in a nursing rehab facility. She was one of the lucky ones who is now functioning independently back in her own home.

    • Over 1/3 of people aged of 65+ fall each year
    • In 2007, over 1.8 million seniors were treated for fall – related injuries at emergency rooms
    • Approximately 400,000 fractures per year due to fall in senior citizens
    • Over 20% of hip fractures result in death within 1 year post injury
    • BY 2030, 25% of US pop will be greater than 65

    single leg balanceFactors Affecting Falls:

    1. History of Falling
      After the first fall, fear of falling again can lead to decline and more falls
    1. Chronic Disease and Medical Conditions
      Stroke/TIA, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Osteoporosis and even foot issues such as bunions, etc…
    1. Sensory/vestibular Impairments
      Reduces function of hearing, vision or inner ear malfunctions
    1. Medication Effects
      Sedatives, Antidepressants, Diuretics and others may have side effects that lead to an increased risk of falling
    1. Level of Function (Strength, Posture, Gait)
    2. Weather or Outdoor Conditions
    3. House clutter and Obstacles
    4. Poor Lighting
    5. Lack of adaptive devices in the home
    6. Inappropriate footwear/clothing


    Why Suspension Training? 

    Suspension Training acts as a built-in safety mechanism (i.e., balance/falls prevention) while exercising. This is especially important for our weak or arthritic clients. We have found Suspension training exercises to be highly effective and a fun addition to any client’s training program!

    Purchase the TRX Suspension Trainer from HEST Fitness Products

    Dr. Chris Thompson, Ph.D. researcher specializing in fall prevention and training for older adults http://goo.gl/0Z3ic8

  6. 15+ Flavors? NO Way!

    CR_Wrapper_OnlySupplementing with a Protein bar once a day is an important part of my nutrition plan for eating healthy.

    I just discovered Quest bars at the IDEA World Fitness Convention and they are my new favorite! Apparently they have been around for awhile as Juan found them at HEB. With 15+ flavors to choose from, we have ordered some for our studio so you can give them a try.

    Here is all the reason they are my new favorite and MORE IMPORTANTLY, they ALL taste GOOD!


  7. “More Cardio, Less Lardio”

    more cardio less lardio

    I cracked up at convention when I heard this, and how true it is! I am so often asked, “How do I get started?” While I want to sell resistance training right away, it is not always the “best” way for a middle-ager or older person to get started.

    For 30 Days …

    I recently designed a 30 day cardio program for a 50+ year old client using only a heart rate monitor and his existing club membership. He was not happy (as I pulled him off weight training for a month) but agreed to 30 days because what he was currently doing stopped working for him toward his goal to lose body fat.

    Consider a Heart Rate Monitor

    I really prefer all my clients wear a heart rate monitor. Monitoring your heart rate (especially for the first 30 days) will help you to NOT “overdo /underdo” your program. A heart rate monitor will meet you right where your fitness is and keep you from getting injured if you pay attention to it.

    lisa upside downCommitment

    So, decide how you want to move; inside, outside or upside down, it doesn’t really matter. Just COMMIT! For 30 days, every day, do a little more than you did the day before until you are exercising between 65% – 85% of your max heart rate. Keep building on the day before until you can do 30, 45 or even 60 minutes a day by the end of this time!

    Lose 8 Pounds!

    This same client lost over 8 pounds in the first two weeks, had to adjust to some shin splints and a blister but DID NOT stop. He will tell you below that he feels better than ever and agrees that this was what was needed to get him on the right track.

    Testimonial from Larry: “I lost 8 pounds during my first two weeks of cardio and I increased my endurance so I could walk further in a shorter period of time.”

    Services that May Help You!

    I hope you noticed that I wasn’t trying to sell you anything in this blog. For some individuals, even 30 days seems daunting and they need the accountability. If you insist on hiring us to help you get YOUR “rocket-off-the-ground” then consider an assessment and the 30 day cardio coaching program that is easy to follow with your heart rate monitor. An initial conversation with our wellness coach, Marcia Keener, might also set you on your way to a more fit YOU!

  8. A Fitness Book to Read

    body confidence
    This author was a featured speaker in a seminar I attended at the 2014 IDEA World Fitness Convention and he was awesome! I downloaded my copy from Audible.com and wanted to share my enthusiasm with you.

    Say goodbye to feeling disappointed with your body—“Body Confidence” is the highly anticipated fitness book from world-renowned Venice Nutrition Program founder Mark Macdonald. Macdonald’s targeted series of diet and fitness strategies are proven to burn body fat, boost energy levels, increase muscle mass, and eliminate sugar cravings for a better looking, better feeling body today. Providing a step up to holistic body care for fans of Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet or Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure, and an excellent companion to Cynthia Sass’s Cinch!, the Venice Nutrition Program’s innovative fitness plan focuses on blood sugar stabilization and a complementary program of exercise, sleep, and stress management. A foreword by bestselling author Chelsea Handler will let you know why Body Confidence is your next step to a healthier, happier tomorrow.
    Purchase your book TODAY!

  9. Exercise Routine To Build A Better Body For Cycling

    Spending countless hours in the saddle is not really enough anymore to cycle in the top third of your pack or take a turn leading the pace lines on long distance rides. Fact is, what you do indoors is just as important as “time in the saddle” outdoors.

    To get in the best biking shape this spring, do these five exercises from top pro cyclists in the nation.

    First, consider working out your core for a better biking body


    Perform these favorite gym moves from world-class pro cyclists to jump start your season and get in kickass cycling shape.


    Cyclists say: “Sprinters generally have more muscles”— just put a sprinter next to a distance cyclist and you’ll immediately see the difference.

    Crunches: Forget modern-day abs machines. Try good old crunches right on the floor. Lie on your back and clasp your arms behind your head. Slowly curl your torso toward your knees; bringing your shoulders four to six inches off the ground (don’t sit up). Hold for a few seconds, pressing your lower back into the mat. Return to start. Do 200 to 300 crunches every other day.



    Cyclists Say: “Preparing your legs in the gym is so important—it makes the biggest difference on the bike” – When just focusing on legs, do leg curls to strengthen the back of our legs.

    Lying leg curls: Lie face down on an angled leg curl machine after you’ve adjusted it to your height and preferred weight resistance (Consider working at 60 to 70% of your maximum). Place your legs (a few inches below the calves) beneath the padded lever. Grab the side handles of the machine, and as you exhale, curl your legs up as far as possible without losing contact with the lever. Hold for one second, and then lower down as you inhale. Repeat for three sets of 20.




    Cyclists Say: “My weakest point is my back because of the position I’m in for hours on the bike” –

    Dead Lifts: Bend at your hips and knees and grab the bar (A standard barbell in the gym is 45-pounds) using an overhand grip. Slightly arch your lower back while keeping your arms straight. Without allowing your lower back to round, stand up very slowly with the bar. Hold for a second, then lower the bar, again slowly (using a controlled motion), to the floor. Do three sets of 20.





    Cyclists Say: “Strength training, especially after the off- season, helps rebuild muscle without bulking up too much” – Rather than move statically or linearly using gym machines, a dynamic workout with free weights is preferred.

    Reverse lunges: Grab a set of dumbbells that are about 10 to 15% of your body weight. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, step backward with your left leg into a reverse lunge (creates less stress on the knee than the standard forward lunge). Be sure to keep your back straight and shoulders level the whole time. Come back up and repeat. Perform three sets of 20 with each leg.



    Cyclists Say: “The agility ladder is a great combo of cardio and strength training” – Try this speed and coordination drill on your NEXT workout.

    Agility ladder moves: Using a resistance band wrapped around your ankles, shuffle from side-to-side through the ladder for 100 back-and-forth moves. Or, if you have access to a Jacobs Ladder (an angled, self-paced, ladder-like piece of equipment) at your gym, climb up and down (that’s one rep) for 100 reps.

    quads 1          quads 2

    – See more at: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/5-exercises-to-build-a-better-body-for-biking?page=5#sthash.u5yFezfp.dpuf

  10. A Training Program for Water Sports

    Surfing requires strong shoulders and arms for paddling out to the waves, and core strength and balance for riding them back to shore. Do these five exercises three times a week for a month before your trip. On alternate days, try to get in at least 20 minutes of swimming and 20 minutes of jogging/rope skipping for aerobic conditioning.

    YPB PIC 1Medicine-Ball Jackknife

    Holding a medicine ball with your hands, lie flat on your back with your legs straight and your arms extended past your head. Tighten your abs and slowly bring your legs and arms up at the same time until your body forms a V. Try to touch the ball to your feet without bending your legs. Hold for one count, and then slowly return to the starting position. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions.


    YPB PIC 2Stability Ball Pullover

    Sit on a Stability ball with your feet flat on the floor and a medicine ball in your hands. Slide forward on the ball and slowly lie down on it with thighs and torso parallel to the floor. Contract your abs to raise your torso as if you were throwing the ball. Hold for one count, and then return to the starting position. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions.

    Dumbbell Flat Rotation Push

    With a 25-pound dumbbell in each hand, lie flat on your back on a bench. Hold the weights next to your chest, with your palms facing your feet. Quickly press the weights up, extending your arms and rotating your hands to finish with your palms facing inward. Hold for one count, and then slowly return to the starting position. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions.

    Dumbbell Shoulder Rotation

    YPB PIC 5Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms out to your sides at shoulder level and begin moving your hands in slow, controlled circles. Do 20 circles, and then switch directions for 20 more. Next, drop your arms to your sides and slowly swing your right arm back and over as if you were paddling. Do 20 repetitions, and then repeat with your left arm.

    YPB PIC 6

    YPB PIC 7Medicine-Ball Coil Jump

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball in both hands. Extend your arms so the ball is straight overhead. Bend your knees slightly, then explode upward, bringing your knees up toward your chest as you jump. Try to land softly and spring back up as fast as you can. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions.

    For more information – http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/5-surfing-exercises




    Leg squat progression exercises

    YPB PIC 8Here’s a split squat into a single leg BOSU squat progression. Remember with all these leg exercises keep your ankle, knee and hip in alignment. Look for any differences between left/right sides of your body. Keep challenging yourself and have fun with it.

    These strength/balance exercises are great to add into your program. They are a Big Bang for your buck exercise perfect for taking your surfing to the next level.

    • Week 1 Split Stance Squats. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions each leg.
    • Week 2 Split Stance Squats with back leg on bench. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions each leg.
    • Week 3 Single Leg Squats on Box top or Ledge. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions each leg.
    • Week 4 Single Leg Squats on BOSU Ball. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions each leg.

    For more information – http://surffitness.tv/leg-squat-progession-exercises/

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